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At the age of six, Luka Modric's life was rocked to the core when his grandfather was shot dead by Serb rebels close to his home.
Modric and his family would soon move into a refugee hotel in the coastal town of Zadar, a place where war was still ongoing, after their house was burned down.
In the coming years, the youngster would live in a warzone and grow up to the sound of grenades exploding as the Croatian War of Independence escalated.
But that didn't stop him from pursuing his dream.
In those years, thousands of bombs fell on the city but football was a way to escape the reality of war.
"He had broken more glass on the hotel windows than what the bombs had hit. He was playing non-stop football all around the hotel halls."
Football also had its obstacles. Coaches said he was 'too weak and shy' to play football but as we all know, his career fledged into something rather special.
After a breakthrough year in Croatia in 2005, Modric bought his family a flat in Zadar with his earnings and soon became one of the club's best players.
He has enjoyed a hugely successful spell with Real Madrid, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in world football, and ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's 10 year dominance in the Ballon d'Or rankings by scooping the 2018 prize at a ceremony in Paris.
Consistent as ever, he was also integral to Real Madrid winning an unprecedented three Champions League's in a row under Zinedine Zidane
He then followed that up by captaining Croatia to the World Cup final for the first time in their history, where he deservedly picked up the Golden Ball award thanks to his incredible displays in the middle of the park.
A five-year old Modric used to herd sheep in the most humble of beginnings. Now, he's comfortably the best Croatian to ever play the beautiful game.
What a story.
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